What Factors are Considered in a Child Custody Determination?

Criminal records in custody battles – do prior convictions matter? In a child custody trial, North Carolina uses a standard that is referred to as “best interest of the child”.  This means that a judge will hear from both sides and make a determination about whether each parent is fit and proper to raise the child, and what custody arrangement would be in the child’s best interests.

Several factors are considered, including but not limited to; criminal history, drug use, domestic violence, school districts, household factors, and who has been the primary care giver of the child.

What about a Criminal History is Considered in Child Custody Hearings?

All child custody actions in North Carolina focus on what is in the best interests of the child. When one of the parties to a custody action has a prior criminal conviction or multiple convictions, the court will weigh a number of factors, including:

  • What type of offense was committed?
  • Who was the victim of the offense?
  • How old was the person when they were convicted of the offense?
  • What kind of sentence was given for the offense?
  • Are there multiple convictions related to this offense or any other charges that need to be considered?

How Does the Court Weigh these Factors?

The court is primarily concerned with who the victims of the offense(s) are and if they were harmed as a result of the offense, whether it was physical or emotional harm. If the victim of the offense was the child involved in the custody action, the court would most likely be inclined to impose restrictions and limitations on custodyfor the offending party.

What Kinds of Convictions are More Harmful to Custody Than Others?

Generally, crimes of domestic violence, weapons offenses, assault, battery,or drug/alcohol abuse are given greater weight from the court, especially when they involve the child or the other parent. The court would be concerned with a parent’s violence issues or anger management problems and would need to see evidence of that parent’s ability to rehabilitate themselves before the court grants less restricted custodial rights over the child.

At Gilles Law, we handle North Carolina family law issues including divorcechild custodychild support, and alimony.  If you need a family law attorney in Charlotte or the surround areas, Contact us.

This Blog/Web Site is made available by Gilles Law, PLLC for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site, you understand that there is no attorney-client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

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